Analyzation : Dawn of the Golden Witch of Trollfest and Doorama

A review for you, child of man

In case you were wondering what my reaction was. I feel like going ¨step back and let me show you how it´s done¨ to the current Game Master. Dawn was ominous, outrageous, and completely twisted. Dawn of the Golden Witch is a like an episode that gets stranger and stranger by the minute. Not one anime fans are used to. Familiar yet completely different from the previous (and many) odd experiences we’ve had in this twisted game. Wonderful yet so damn displeasing. Unique in its own demented way. Demented all the way. I truly think Rykushi07 enjoys making me pull L5 faces. This wasn´t an exception.

Our 6th Episode in this twisted tale, Dawn of the Golden Witch, was serious and grim from start to finish and most definitely DoGW was not everyone’s taste. Certainly I can’t say it was quite mine. EP 6 was like something that we didn’t ask for but we actually lacked the most – a certain closure. A conclusion (but not quite it) to the mystery, leading us to something different. To whatever the author has in store.

As it is already common knowledge each Game deals with certain concepts and ideas. “Love” is the theme of the 6th Game and the hardships become ultimate life deciding trials. But “Love” isn’t simply referred to as the usual romantic devotional all forgiving type of love. Umineko has its own way to give things its own twists. I mean it the broadest sense of the word.

This tale where a few new characters are introduced two of them playing a massive part in the episode – the demons Zeppar and Furfur. Brought to world of Umineko as the representation of the almost forgotten Butterfly brooch given to Shannon then broken by Kanon in the 2nd Game resulting into two separate parts.  At the same time they served as separate presentations of Shannon and Kanon and on addition of acting as overseers of the Trials this EP is so focused on.

The presence of magic (like in all games) is especially attributed it this time to the unbelievable amount of power this brooch holds and implies, rather pretty much tells us, that without ‘magic’ the relationships with furniture are bound to fail. Going into a seemingly illogical claim that because the brooch can only produce a single miracle only one pair of lovers will get to be together and the others will fall apart without a doubt. DoGW greatly emphasizes how “furniture”, which the game hasn’t really explained much about before I may say, are not considered real people or that a single furniture doesn’t equal one whole human. Also that because of their ‘sin’ they can’t be with humans. The 6th Game tells us of a love that without the help of magic is impossible throwing common sense by the window multiple times. It is strange indeed how the 6th Game is all centered on this concept which is ultimately a foreshadowing of 2nd twilight of the epitaph, “tear those who are close”.

Beatrice

Ah, The Witch of the Forest. Beatrice’s role has completely changed since Chiru started and she’s now almost unrecognizable. She changes once again and we’re presented to this humble and timid ‘chick’ Beatrice, a Beatrice who was brought back to life by the new Game Master Battler but without her 1000 years old memories isn’t the same person we know.

This is another concept that EP6 talks about, maybe not as prominent as the one of “Love”, but nevertheless it is crucial. The story tells us of “how people become different as time passes”. People wouldn’t be who they are without happy and painful memories and trials of life that everyone has to face at some point. Same principle applies to Beatrice who is not ‘really’ complete until she regains what she has lost.

Beatrice is made, as many suspected, into a ‘tragic heroine’ which started on EP5 but there was still some doubts of where exactly the story was going with that. Already forgotten and lost is the possibility that this is one of her tricks like the “North sun strategy” but rather that this is the real Beatrice. We don’t know her reasons but she certainly isn’t as terrible as the other Witches.

I’d like contrast the twisted “impossible love” concept the 6th Game brings us with Beatrice’s case  herself. Beatrice brought Battler and her family to apparently ‘suffer eternal pain’ and as the story progresses we realize that the situation isn’t what we thought it was. Beatrice shows a strong determination for Battler to remember his sin and with it End the tale she created. In this sense, her own “game” serves as a major Trial for all characters of the story, mainly the Ushiromiya, who as already mentioned they are responsible for “sins” themselves.

Dawn implies Beatrice’s real intentions are not simply of hatred but of something else. Perhaps it’s time to fully (as the game tells us) accept Beatrice is one of the ‘good guys’ otherwise, it would feel like nothing more than plain obstinacy. I think EP6 accomplished in making it crystal clear that this is no trick and that Beatrice is not the evil witch she portrayed herself as, giving us the task of only making sense of her own reasons for why this tragedy repeats itself. Is it inevitable after all?

Chiru’s concept of “memories & experiences” make people ‘different’ also manages to hint into what turned characters of the story both of the human and magic side as walking screw ups and others as complete ‘monsters in many occasions throughout the tale.

Battler as the Game Master

Battler is one of the characters who has taken a complete 180 degree change. After taking the role of Game Master, Battler who was always toyed around, for the first time seems to be in control of things giving the readers mixed impressions, at least for me. Initially cold and somewhat arrogant, for the first half of the story I found Battler to be obnoxious character for the first time since the game started. I couldn’t simply put it why it was so, but it at the same time so obvious why. The game has built a certain character for him and seeing him break away from that mold, even though his situation is no laughing matter, there was a clear shock seeing him behave so “unlike him” now that he ‘knows all mysteries’.

Seeing him ‘know all answers’ wasn’t exactly pleasing for someone as I. Battler, who not so long ago possessed an average type of third-rate reasoning, acts as though it was impossible for anything to get past him, having this unfitting confidence for the first time which was different from his usual one. Thankfully, in the rest of the story Battler shows his human side once again and that he still is the same Battler everyone has grown to like – inept and stubborn – but still a likable character with strong determination. Once again the final showdown is similar to End of the Golden Witch but with the roles between Battler and Beatrice reversed and with the Golden Witch coming to his aid.

Dawn puts Battler in a much similar that Beatrice was before only that we’re better familiar with who is controlling the game now. In general, the game is explored from the Game Master perspective and tells the reader the complexity of being in charge of weaving a great mystery. We are told that the witch side is also in “great disadvantage” and that this is a fair fight as “End of the Golden Witch” already did, only that this information is given by the Game Master himself this time making it more reliable. The readers are told how being the Game Master is no easy task and that unlike common belief the Witch side could be as much or at worse disadvantage as the human side can. Battler as the game master struggles to keep the game going just like Beatrice did when she was in charge of the Game Board, thing that the reader hardly considered before. Though those expecting  Battler to reveal Beatrice’s secrets to her mysteries will be disappointed. As for me, I think Battler did a lousy job as a Game Master where he could’ve done a lot better.  I’d replace him any day. Sorry but the tale you wove up wasn´t of my liking. I think I concur with the human side on this matter.

Siblings

Dawn of the Golden Witch unlike all previous five games does not strongly revolve around the siblings and their personal and family issues. We are presented to a story where, simply put the Umineko MILFs Reign apparently, I believe temporary, ends in EP6 showing us a premise around the uninteresting cousins whose character growth was only introduced in EP4 and small parts in other games but only briefly.  Only two characters who are covered but again only slightly are Kyrie and Rosa in additional of the male adults being left alive for a change. Kyrie, the calm and chessboard thinker, shows a more murderous side (as already hinted and suspected) revealing that her own hell would’ve ended in greater tragedy that we’d imagine with the murder of Asumu. Rosa, the other character EP6 briefly covers, accidentally ends up revealing a goal and a dream that she hasn’t abandoned yet even after so long which tightly revolves around paying that debt, which for the first time is finally exposed who were involved and why she did so. It also mentions once again how Maria still symbolizes painful memories for her due a missing partner whose identity is still unknown.

To everyone’s surprise for the first time all male adults are left untouched, which would be by far the biggest shock if the Game Master would’ve been somebody else other than Battler. Even though all Rudolf, Hideyoshi, and Krauss were left alive their involvement in the story was too little. Not exactly revealing any crucial (at least as obvious as the others) information about themselves or about the mystery itself. It’s clear that the male characters aren’t as prominent as their partners, however, EP6 made it a bit more evident that their participation is really small. It felt as though even though they would’ve been left alive ‘they wouldn’t still do much.’  In other words, even though none of them are my favorite I still felt some partial disappointment because they didn’t contribute much to the story even in this one in a life time rare game where they aren’t killed off. This makes me wonder if they would ever get some a whole EP of their own or that the author will keep them this way not exploring certain parts of the story such as Rudolf’s past which is only ‘told by others’ because is convenient or put simply by lack of lack of interest of the author and possibly also the audience to handle these characters. The boring cousins and furniture already had one. I don’t see why the rest wouldn’t, that is assuming that there will be enough games to spare for something like this to happen.

As mentioned above Dawn of the Golden deals very briefly with the adults telling us a bit more about themselves and others things they never really got around saying. This information perhaps a bit explains some their actions and why of their current attitude, filling in some gaps and stating some possible facts. Unfortunately, these developments are handled extremely briefly resulting in a bit of a lackluster compared to EP 5 where one of the main heroine Natsuhi basically had an episode of her own. Compared to that EP6 felt like it gave the end of the stick to the rest of the siblings and almost ignore them completely for the cousins’ love affairs story crushing any hope for this mystery that I had of further information on the siblings where I believe resides the key to many parts of the mystery.

Witches

Many characters show more of their still “human side” and others also their “darker sides” as already implied before this new game, still provoking some surprises even from person. Such is the case of the voyager witches, Lambdadelta and Bernkastel who demonstrate that their illness is so fatal that they’re driven to deplorable acts of malevolence to stop the pain as though it was piercing their very own soul.

Out of all witches I think that Lambdadelta is the one who surprises the more in this EP. She was always portrayed as a layback, ditzy type of character, however, in reality is a manipulative, yanderistic, and utterly demented witch. This is a fact but we never knew what made her that way or anything beyond that. The surprise is that despite her massive trolling in “End of the Golden Witch” and overall nastiness in past games where she controlled things behind the scenes like she’s well used to, Lambdadelta shows that she has a great understanding of things demonstrating it in conversations between her and Battler.. speaking as though she was the sanest of all witches. It was bizarre to see coming from someone who always appeared as demented as it could get when she seemed to still have something resembling a, perhaps, “human side” or acting seemingly “understandable” and having enough neutral in judgment.

It is also explained in Lambda’s words about her obsession with Bernkastel and their common situation as “fellow survivors” of that hellhole of a never-ending nightmare which drives them to want to destroy one another for the other satisfaction. Also we can’t forget about the shocking event where Lambdadelta practically tells us of her own insanity in very shocking way, completely different from the one we’re used to and instead making her seem more vulnerable as another screw-up of a series of events with no salvation whatsoever. As the game even mentions it, for a moment Lambdadelta was acting so helpless and once gain almost human spouting those painful and delusional words doubting her own reality. It truly made her seem pitiful and more demented than she ever did before throwing a chill down my spine. Unfortunately, we only get information on Bernkastel from Lambdadelta who knows her the most and not much from the Witch of Miracles herself about her twisted past possibly being connected to Higurashi or perhaps even before that. In general, despite her trolling and also revealing that some it was part of an act, Lambdadelta behaves in more “acceptable” and “reasonable” way than one would expect of her to throughout the EP. In a way hinting us that there is even more to her and to the Witches and that possibly there are worse monsters in this story we haven’t seen yet.

Meta-wise / Magic

Personally I noticed (I think it was clear) the straightforwardness of the Meta scenes and at the same time how inconsistent they were with one another when I looked at the big picture. First, there was how the 1st twilight was carried out, which in my opinion was decently elaborated making it look like it was part of the ritual for lovers while it was indeed the 1st twilight in disguise. But here is the thing. DoGW, unlike all previous games, shows a ‘culprit’ – a human culprit we can see – and even how the killings are carried out by them!

The presence of magic is present in the manifestation of extraordinary ‘power ups’ or ‘charge-ups’ given to the cousins resembling that of EP 4 and for the usual magical defense and offensive powers of Kanon and Shannon are also present once again with no new changes. Magical beings such as witch’s furniture are not selected to be chosen as the ‘culprits’ and the game doesn’t even attempt to make them seem as the culprits from the magic side to cover up the real identity of the human culprit. The game, by that I mean what we see in the magical scenes, is straightforward it leads you assume that Jessica and Kanon and George and Shannon are the culprits of DoGW when we can effortlessly match up the deaths of the 1st twilight with the magical scenes.

I wasn’t thrilled at all to notice that Jessica, George, Kanon, and Shannon’s battle scenes seem to be unrelated to killings and possibly to the mystery itself serving more to compare it to the new Beatrice’s trial and for characters who haven’t gotten much character development. It felt as though it was only used to reveal some personal thoughts of some of the family members that they wouldn’t reveal otherwise in normal situations and that’s about it.

It was completely screwed up how the readers were supposed to take seriously what could be considered merely a cover up by the magic side when in actuality there was no real culprit at that moment in time and rather an elaborate prank was the responsible. Cleary such strange straightforwardness was so obvious that it gave it away before Battler did, added to the GM Battler’s cockiness insulted my overall intelligence with such simple mystery.

There wouldn’t be dissatisfaction from my part if there was some truth to the magic scenes where interpretation is opened, however this was not the case. The magic scenes Battler created were only aimed to distract the ‘detective’ with little correlation to the killing and for the first time I thought how senseless the magical scenes were in an EP of Umineko, thing that I didn’t think so before this new Game. Of course, I have my own interpretation how the story in the human game board developed which can be obtained removing all magic scenes and replace them with logical assumptions, same as it can be done with all Games but it’ll be boorish of me to tell it from start to finish in this review because the goal here is to provide a general overview of the 6th Game.

Mystery wise

I firmly believe that the weakest part of Dawn was the “mystery” itself which if you haven’t noticed yet I’m not thrilled at all. I felt certain “disappointment” when Battler’s hands were openly revealed to us and find out that the mystery he wove up wasn’t as spectacular as it should. Of course, this EP as we already knew was being handled by a human, NOT a witch so it was clear it was going to be different. In past we have never been able to truly know what the GM intended and we could only speculate what were the answers to the tricks. This ends with Battler who makes a grave error (rather tricked into one) in his ‘perfect’ mystery and ‘perfect closed rooms’ eventually leading to his destruction by a conflict of a “Logic Error” in his Game. Battler is forced to reveal to the reader what was the trick behind his elaborated tricks and we find out that they were no more than child’s play, a complicated mystery at first glance under the illusion that it was impossible to solve, however, once the cat box was opened it was as easy as it could get. Battler lacked the most on that department giving us a predictable answer to his own mystery which I have to say, in Furudo Erika’s words, it was simply terribly ‘third-rate’ unlike past games were I was simply awestruck by them.

Battler, who was supposed to have mastered this mystery isn’t as spectacular as he was expected to and instead he is driven to a corner multiple times. Some of them he drove himself to that corner due to his own stubbornness. Battler looked more like he was only bluffing throughout the EP and wasn’t nearly as ready as we’d thought after End of the Golden Witch. George and Jessica. Really, Battler?

Human Side (Erika and Dlanor)

Erika’s appearance is Rokkenjima is initially received in a similar way, however, the antagonism from both her and the Ushiromiya side spiral into the grown-ups conspiring against her fitting the game that Battler as the Game Master created.  As usual Erika’s role in the story is once again to deny the existence of magic and to prove that killings are in fact committed using human tricks, however, we are presented to a more destructive version of the intellectual rapist fighting for her life after being abandoned by Bernkastel, who despite being denied her roles and right as the detective still acts as one without being truly acknowledged by the game. Same as Erika, Dlanor A Knox is unable to fight at full power and she is unable to provide greater support to her master and as we can imagine her power isn’t near what it was in the past games. Despite much of it was in fact a tactical move from Humans’ side (Bernkastel) to corner Battler into a “logic error” and to defeat him in that way with a “perfect victory”.

The return of Furudo Erika and Eiserne Jungfrau forces commanded by Dlanor A. Knox to have that revenge from EP 5 where it ended as a ‘draw’ (but the Witch side felt that it was nevertheless a loss) it was something I wanted to see the most in this EP. However, we quickly realize that Bernkastel’s furniture aren’t in the same enviable position that they did in EP 5 where they completely overpowered Beatrice and Battler when we see dumbfounded both a restricted and impoverish version of Furudo Erika without a ‘detective authority’ and of Dlanor unable to unleash her mighty ‘red key’ of the Decalogue when this Game needed it the most. I really missed that chemistry of the detective that End of the Golden Witch brought to the Umineko next to the stories the mysteries usual spin around such as the siblings and the mysterious Witch of the Forest.

It was clear that they were all full of restrictions throughout most of the EP and that same as in End of the Golden Witch Erika’s and Dlanor’s side were restricted by Bernkastel’s orders to follow a predetermined path and it was Bern’s capriciousness which, same as in End of the Golden Witch, that cost her side the victory. This is spotted even by Battler when he observes that his opponents aren’t giving their all, which despite still being a “tactical move” from the human side. Is is clear that Bernkastel’s statement of being “just another theatergoer” is no more than mockery from her part, that her clear disinterest in whether winning or losing and just being simply entertained regardless of the outcome is what she actually aims for, making us wonder it could really be considered “fair match” when one side was unable to fight as they wished. Perhaps, this tale would’ve taken a different turn then.

Ange as Reader

The sixth game brings back Battler’s sister. Ushiromiya Ange killed in the 4th game is brought back to the world of Umineko once again when human Ange from the future is thrown into a puzzling reality where she hasn’t  gone yet to Rokkenjima Island and the story takes a different turn. Ange meets with Featherine Aurora who is the author behind the fake bottle message, she claims that the ‘truth’ she has found is the real one and no less the actual truth making her one of the many ‘Endless Witches’ out there. Featherine, who is in fact responsible for this ‘impossible memory’ Ange has found herself in, engages into both in interesting analogies and concepts such as the READER concept as well as taking how things are from the AUTHOR perspective. This new character takes both the position as the Reader (from the real Beatrice’s tale) and how she has managed to fully understand it and of the WRITER of the extra message in a bottles giving HER readers more hints so they can also understand the mystery.

Surprisingly, Ange’s position in the sixth game (like many) isn’t prominent either and she is given a more passive role than she had in EP 4 after becoming Featherine’s Reader and Miko. Meta Ange enters a temporary alliance with Featherine, who I have to say that her human and magic counterparts aren’t exactly the same. Human Hachijo Tohya, who is in her mansion wants to hear Ange’s thoughts for her new unreleased book, as in to hear actual crucial feedback from one of the few ‘Readers who understands’ the mystery instead of one the average-one-of-the-millions-readers out there who as Featherine claims they don’t really understand a single thing of what she writes. The Witch version of her  is Featherine a witch suffering of the chronic disease of boredom and is in need of a Reader in order to be able to keep up with the current tale. Featherine claims to understand the mystery as well but there are many parts where she hints that there are parts she doesn’t get, not to mention that her final revelation is different from her human counterpart. Ange resumes her journey to help her brother being Featherine’s Reader however that truth she was looking for and the reason she was there in the first place are strangely never touched again, ending with both versions of Ange leaving on her own accord both Hachijo Tohya and Featherine.

Problem. Ange came with a determination to “resume” her journey and to do anything to help Battler to return to the ‘her’ from 12 years ago, thus seeing Battler win despite all adversities he encountered should technically end her journey, however, as we know that game isn’t just over. As usual the game leaves no loose ends when it comes to matching the same results. The Game ends Ange’s role in Dawn of the Golden Witch in the same way. Ange that will continue her journey, as in she will resume where she left of, and most likely meet the same fate in Rokkenjima as she did in the 4th Game with her life ending in a mysterious way. Perhaps, not so mysterious now. Actually Anger served as a means to understand the story from the eyes of somebody else since the readers aren’t seeing the same from Battler’s eyes either.

What Dawns does say is whether this will momentary be the end of Ange in the story taking in consideration that she is still one of the latest and she hasn’t been one of the ‘core’ characters of the mystery and more of one being born as a result of the tragedy, not the one making it. It’s both likely that this will be the end of Ange or that she will continue to ‘revisit’ Hachijo Tohya in the future. In all her visits she’ll find something she hadn’t and so will the readers. Or is it for her just another hell that this ‘impossible memory’ will repeat over and over leading Ange to the same result while theatergoers kick back and enjoy the play. Endlessly I may add.

Aurora Augustus Featherine

Witch of Theatergoing, drama and Spectating.Featherine’s role is similar to the author of the story – Ryukishi07 – by being the one who is creating a tale eagerly expecting the Readers to understand the mystery they were given. This is extremely evident the more she refers to the readers as the audience, however, a very selected audience I’d say. As someone who has almost all the answers her position is similar to the author himself whose personal dissatisfaction from the readers who “still don’t understand the mystery” and regard a ‘solvable mystery’  as an “unsolvable one” or even when it is it’s only reasoned out in the most basic level possible, not being able to fully grasp the greatness of it for lack of understanding despite the game being so carefully crafted for everyone to enjoy, I think it was made apparent. Though, I doubt there was any negative intent to it, in case it sounded that way. I consider this trick as a direct and effective way for the author to communicate with the Readers in a very clever, clear, teasing, and amusing way. Very fitting of the genius of the When they Cry series.

Like ‘Love’and  ‘Logic Error’, “Theatergoing” is the key word of Dawn of the Golden Witch already hinted by Bernkastel like foreshadowing to impending doom – things are going too smoothly for comfort. Not exactly just as planned for the Witches. As usual the trademark of this Game the final scene is exactly what we’d expect of Umineko. The final scene is worth of one giving anyone the creeps by first introducing a creepy scene in the middle of nowhere featuring Bernkastel later then re-introducing Featherine as Bernkastel former ‘player’ when she used to be a mere piece a long time ago. Ending with a huge cliffhanger exposing a disgusted Bernkastel upon seeing her mentor, shall we call it, then switching to an alliance with Featherine  when both their cruelty takes presence over any past grudges when they both share a common interest in continuing this demented game for their own amusement this time tearing apart all mysteries of the story with The Cruelest of Witches being in charge. Perhaps the cruelest game yet is in progress and even this is the calm before the biggest storm to hit Rokkenjima yet. What do you think, Theatergoers?

Final Thoughts

Our sixth Game, Dawn of the Golden Witch, breaks off the pattern that all past games had revolving around characters that only had partial progress in the story. A risky gamble I may say. It contrasts Battler and Beatrice’s story which this mystery is deeply connected with the ongoing Love Trial the cousins and furniture undergo to obtain their happiness, all of this to give them greater depth. The lack of presence of the adults in the 6th Game is painfully clear. No longer can we see the siblings playing a major role in the mystery or presumed to be involved killings as in the past. All those major players in the story simply take a step back in the story and as a result the story takes different turns.

This new tale woven by Battler as the new Game Master was supposed to be a ‘final’ try for Battler to prove that he has conquered Beatrice’s mystery to the Witches. That’s what it is mentioned. What is puzzling is how ‘crucial’ Battler’s own game was to the solution of the mystery or to him it was simply a demonstration of his abilities as a Game Master having less special meaning. To me, I don’t think it was as relevant as it was supposed to like in past games.

Dawn is a narrative of “Love” and trials people undergo to reach what otherwise could be considered impossible dream worth being considered a ‘miracle’. Both the cousins’ story and new Beatrice’s wish developed while Battler as the Game Master fights Furudo Erika under Bernkastel’s orders in a final showdown for the control of Game Board.  It’s impossible to not question the reasons why this tale turned out this way being mainly divided into only two parts with the special addition of outside forces acting as watchers. Events such as the family conference, the epitaph, and the existence of magic are almost outright abolished and replaced with a “Love” concept being strong, twisted, and lenient.

DoGW works on the “understanding” part for characters such as Ange seeing others sides of her brother she didn’t know and feeling sympathetic for the first time towards Beatrice. What I liked most was how the concept of both Reader and as the Author was masterfully handled in this game being both clear and smart really accomplishing what it was aiming. The mystery as already mentioned wasn’t impressive. The detective parts, while still present, compared to the 5th Game were also greatly reduced to my displeasure, with the story switching to a more straightforward tale with only hints but no actual truths being leaked. In this sense, Dawn of the Golden Witch was as all Umineko Games : smart, amusing, twisted, and intriguing. However, it was linear. To my surprise, a great majority of the time I felt as though as two steps ahead of the mystery whereas in past games I could be only one. This wasn’t all new because some revelations and hints the 6th Game mentions were theories and general assumptions that I had already made way before the 6th Game, resulting in a less shocking experience than I was expecting. For those who are better acquainted with my Umineko work (which I should strongly advise you if you aren’t to look around) or with their own theories being proven right, possibly the feeling was something similar to what I just described.

Certainly, I felt a certain feeling from the 6th Game that I don’t get along well, “predictability”. Dawn was nice but there was a conflict of both enjoying a game and understating it when I read it as far as I can tell. I think it’s worth mentioning the differences between them are. While you can enjoy something “as it is” and no further action is done other than enjoy as a work of entertainment. Or you can take it further, to the next level and proceed to thorough study the mystery which while enjoying the story you also have to deal with the new developments and inaccuracies and weighing the experience as both a story and a mystery at the same time.

What could I criticize Dawn for? That it felt short on the mystery department. The game was twisted and it kept twisting which was vastly amusing. I think that the EP used more the shock factor than the use the mystery of the story to differentiate itself from the others game. The change in attitude from Battler and Beatrice were one of the many reasons why I found this new Game so strange. Most of the time it felt like something was going wrong. Not exactly the type I enjoy. I think the “Battler what are you doing to the game!?” popped up more times than I was expecting along with “this is so screwed-up”. I could see myself  a few times Bernkastel´s faces and agreeing with Erika on Battler´s choice for his tale.

Even by the 5th Game’s standards which was handled in a very different manner than the others were, the 6th Game was a different experience altogether. Dawn was as a rehash of past tricks and “old-fashion” in many ways, not completely fitting Battler in the least but that’s how the game carried itself out. Dawn of the Golden Witch was emotional, perverse, still thought-provoking, and mentally draining. Some will say it was great others will say it wasn’t great at all. Me? I think that the Dawn served its purpose. Certainly, I have my own preferences of what I consider to be a “perfect” Game when both mystery and story-wise complement one another and you’re just plain awestruck with little to no counter argument. I think that Dawn had its good sides but I couldn’t possibly claim it was any better than any of the past games. It was great but it lacked. This is decided by both the mystery side not shining as much as in the past and story-wise which I wasn’t very compelled by it. By now everyone is wondering if this is truly the beginning of the “answer arcs” when all secrets will start to be revealed, the prelude to a greater mystery or the final showdown drawing nearer with the appearance of greater forces in the story? As usual, we can only guess. For now we have the 6th Games to date to work on.

I think I´ve said my fair share for now. Now I´ll ask you to answer this poll with the highest sincerity possible. Despite my clear skepticism of how this EP turned out. What did you think of Dawn of the Golden Witch, everyone?

I’m confident I covered the most important points of Dawn, however, there are always points that will be left out. As usual you can visit Tea Party for more Umineko topics. Also as usual I feel confident I can make sense of all scenes and concepts Dawn brought us in case anybody still has questions, which I´ll answer in due time either here or in the next entries. Or maybe you already found  all the answers you were seeking, Readers?

For those interested, blogging of Dawn will start next week adding more information and questions not covered in this analyzation. I know I have many.

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12 thoughts on “Analyzation : Dawn of the Golden Witch of Trollfest and Doorama

  1. I agree with all of the points you gave. While I enjoyed Dawn of the Golden Witch, I couldn’t help but feel something was…wrong. Something definitely didn’t feel -right- with it.

    In fact, while I absolutely cherished the first and final parts of the game, I completely detested the middle. I remember wishing for it to end, I remember not being able to stand -any- of the characters, except a few who were either not in the spotlight or already “dead.” I think, however, that this was all done intentionally by Ryukishi. This game departs so much from the others that ‘s nearly impossible -not- to notice. And the “so wrong” feel to it that the game had, I believe, was Ryukishi’s way of showing us that, while the idea of Battler taking control of the game board -sounds- intriguing, he doesn’t exactly have what it takes.

    I agree that EP5 was, as a whole, far more epic than Dawn, though there were parts I liked, like the Author and Miko relationship between Featherine and Ange, and the way Erika was humanized when before she was little more than a monster. And I of course liked Erika’s noble demise as she reached a higher level of understanding (along with the whole end battle all-together.)

    I look forward to seeing you write about this game and especially your take on its controversial ending! :D

    • I share a similar feeling. I was more interested in the characters that weren´t on the ¨play¨this time. I even started to miss the stakes of purgatory. So many characters were neglected to give character growth to others. That was a very riskly move but I sure hope the next EP makes up for it.

      Bernkastel being in charge of it sounds so appealing.

      The Reader part was great. Very deep and interesting. Also Erika´s as well as the cruel Witches ¨humanization¨ was extremely thought provoking. I think the author did right with giving her a ¨noble¨ ending taking in consideratioin how mistreated she was in all EPs despite acting as the detective. I said that because I never considered Battler to be one.

  2. Like after finishing every episode, I’m confused as hell.
    The whole “Love” tournament seemed kinda weak, I felt like they were explaining the same thing too many times and for too long, I guess I am one of those million-stupid-reader who can’t grasp all that stuff, the only thing I think I got of this was the final line of “There are only 17 people”.

    I am more excited about EP.7, I wanna see what kind of twisted game Bern will create and perhaps a reveal of her and Lambda’s pasts.

    • Love Love Love I think we got the idea pretty well. I was starting to fed up with it. I mean it practically was the whole EP. I missed the mystery part so much.

      A game by Bernkastel herself! EP 5 was twisted and that was Lambda´s (and a bit of Bern) so looking forward to it.

  3. It might sounds strange but I loved EP6. and more than ep5. Just after ep4 in my favourites list.

    While I was reading it I didn’t have the feeling o f being reading umineko , It was something different but great a the same time. It was almost impossible to me to disconnect from the game. With less of 6 hours of sleep left because of that. I have to agree that after the start of the weeding scene it got a bit boring but it got better after. I feel like I can’t remember well the order of the things, this is the first time I had that problem really. But I feel like re-reading it all soon.

    • I agree with the ¨it didn´t feel like Umineko¨ thus the ¨what are you doing to the game Battler?¨I think EP 6 was ¨nice¨ and insightful but it was really weird. I understand what the author wanted us to think and the overall ¨goal¨of this tale regardless of preferences, but I think I liked it in a different way.

      It reminded me of EP4 which was a similar experience, I was extremly drained after I finished it. Also because I didn´t sleep much and was taking notes all the way then proceed to write this 9-page analization. And there are still many points to still make about this controversial EP.

  4. I actually enjoy this episode…I feel that the Battler’s love trial thingy is kinda weird(actually is he the one who start the trial or is it someone’s else) but overall, it still kept me amaze and excited as I continue the tale, especially when Erika reveal her “master plan”. Maybe you had expected it but I didn’t and I was awestruck by it. It almost on the same “trollish” level of of the North sun strategy on EP 3. Anyway looking forward for your analysis.

    • Ah, you caught one of the many contradictions in this EP that I found. Battler being or NOT being in charge of the things that happen in his game board. Certainly, the ¨love trial¨popping up without Battler ¨not¨knowing was puzzling.

      I think Erika´s master plan was the biggest highlight of this EP if you ask me. I kept thinking.. she wouldn´t, would she? then it was more of a wouldn´t she?

  5. (And once again a bit of text wall construction :P)

    I have to agree with most of your impressions. For me this EP landed somewhere in this large undefinable place between awesome and underwhelming.
    I actually read how many fans had a problem with this story because it didn’t really satisfied there interest for more and clearer answers and made many hardcore fans question for the first time if Ryu07 REALLY has the master plan for a satisfying ending or if this tale is slowly crumbling other its one complexity.
    Well I’m not that kind of “the sky is falling” person but I also at times had a hard time seeing the greater picture of what this EP was meant to achieve which its strange new elements.

    Like most other commenters I also think the “quality” of the story seems to change vastly with the change in addressed topics. Perhaps there were simple to many different storys told and mixed at the same time which just had completely different purpose.
    E.g. you said you didn’t like the initial behavior of GM Battler but I from the first moment read this as a twisted analogy style flashback to Kinzos past, so I wasn’t that annoyed by the development. After all that is rather fitting as Battler really seem to play the game more and more like the insane gambler his grandpa is characterized as. But on the other side this analogy seems to break so fast with all this confusing stuff Beatrice is going through. After all her involvement in the love duels seems to address a completely different story complex than her drama with Battler but the story is mixing this so much.

    Still as much as I was annoyed about this endlessly dragging story about the love trials I was rather interested in the new facts we learned about Kyrie and George and its rather strange how it is viewed by Ange in the the new meta world. After all she seems to criticize it – between the lines – for the same reasons most readers hated it. It boggle the mind what Ryu07 was up to if he once again dragged down his own story for the sake of some unknown purpose…. and I’m convinced he would have been able to write more engaging love stories parts here. Beside he shouldn’t be oblivious to the fact that EP4 also got most critic for the rather slooooow Ange part.
    I’ll never get why he’s doing this.

    On the other side (unlike you) I really like how the mystery part played out. I don’t know if the way Erikas / Battlers arguments were constructed were to simple-minded as I got exposed to too many spoilers about the important twist before the final translation to actually be surprised but I still like the way the story build up to the first big fight in the closed room. The way the suspense was rising in the cat and mouse game of arguments between Erika and Battler was really enjoyable and reminded me alot of Death Note (especially because both had everything to lose here). I also laughing so hard how the story was changing the symbolism about the “games” in bizarre ways. (Placing chess pieces Hikaro no Go style and “playing poker” with chess are such weird ideas I’d call it awesome to even come up with this ^^)

    I also like the setting of the final confrontation but for completely different reason. Most of the cathedral stuff was quite “useless” embellishment but IMO it was so amusing how Ryu07 turned this place around from the idea of a sacred place of law and order to some sick and twisted wedding party and finally to a some weird scenario reminiscent of some Hollywood action movie. With all this heavy armed security and strange fighting I was reminded of all this kaito storie or heist movie tropes all the time. So much fun even if it didn’t have any relevance to the mystery…. almost like Krauss vs. Mega-Goatmen 2.0 :P

    And then there was the Featherinne level of the story where I settle with your “it serve its purpose” conclusion. I don’t really know where to put this strange stuff and thats why I’m not really comfortable with its integration.
    On one side it gives the reader much needed exposition about the intention of the story as you mentioned. If I think about all the cryptic interviews Ryu07 likes to present to his fan base and how much THOSE sources influence the reader in their view of the whole story it was bound to happen that he integrates this kind of theorycrafting / discussion stuff inside the story.
    But on the other side by involving yet ANOTHER new meta-level into the story we are almost back to step one in structuring how this whole “otherworld” complex really works. And depending on your personal opinion if Anges meeting with Featherinne ALSO is part of her new story Ange may be reading right now this really gets a clusterfuck of recursive reality interpretations which is really headache inducing.
    Muddling matters again by shifting some characters between the layers (like Beatrice going from the chessboard world directly to meta-meta-world to discuss stuff with Ange) does help clearing this up either.
    This also gave me (and seemingly many more fans) this sneaking uneasiness which result from all those “all just a dream / all just inside a book” stories…. really questioning the relevance of major parts of the story for the “real world” of Umineko.

    And then I also have something for all of you who mentioned how “unfitting” and strange Battler is behaving in EP6. There is this one wild theory construct of about “Genius Battler” out their which some fans came up which. That’s simply what it sounds like: the idea revolves around how all the struggling Battler went though were all JUST AS PLANNED in advance and he was really winning because of a good plan instead of luck. I know this really unintuitive as this placed our beloved averagely intelligent hobby detective into Kira style mind trickery territory but wait for one moment before you shout “Nonsense! Their isn’t even a hint to this”.
    1) The idea that we really KNOW how Battler is viewing this game and that this really doesn’t fit his characters it’s really convincing anymore as he change sooo much by this big revelation at the end of EP5. (Also he know more about the mystery then all the readers by now so the reader is automatically quite disconnected his interpretation of the story)
    2) We actually get to see how he deals with riddles by now. I’m thinking of the cheese cutting story here. What we learn here is how he really looks quite dumb as everyone gets the answer before him but then he is surprising everybody with a marvelous answer as he was taking the time for a much harder riddle then everybody else.
    And now take a step back and look at the whole story. We get to know how he took really much time to construct his mystery story but after all he this doesn’t seem to change that he really comes of as incompetent fool. He hands Erika the tools to dig his one grave and success more with blind trust in luck then strategy and even needs to get rescued on multiple levels of the story. But he still wins this game now matter how bad he seems to play the game.
    Interesting, its it? Even more considering he already did once did this between the line tactic “revalation” with the Beato vs. Virgilia battle.

    But actually I don’t really subscribe to this theory as it leaves far to many holes in the plot which make no sense. But from the standpoint of changing your PoV about this story is rather intriguing IMO. :D

    As a last point: You mentioned how the grotesque final scene with Bern and Aurora really promises a much more rewarding 7th game and agree with you that some “cruel truth” may make for a far more interesting story then EP6.
    But after much thinking about the implications of Berns new position as GM a got rather confused. One question got more and more evident in my thoughts: Who will actually play this new game?
    We really have a enormous cast for this story but the number of characters qualified to act as players isn’t all that great. By now we got to know most of the intentions of the different characters in the meta-world but most of them have gained knowledge equal or almost equal to Beatos GM master job. So who CAN actually play Berns game.
    – Lambda makes no sense because of her characterization and she definitively knows THE answer as otherwise she couldn’t be able to judge in all this trials.
    – Featherinne knows THE answer most likely and I cannot see here play against Bern. She is more like the new version of Lambda/Bern as a meddling spectator.
    – Battler claims he knows THE answer convincingly so if we don’t want to question the whole game trolling us about his revelation it makes no sense to put him as a player either.
    – Ange was part of the meta-world but always was a outsider or piece … so not really qualified.
    – Beato doesn’t exist anymore (at least not in her old mastermind form) and putting her chick version as the player of her own game sounds ridiculous.

    Bern really seem to know the least about the core of the mystery because of her heartlessness (as she hints to herself), so it seem really bizarre to put her as the GM where everybody else as a player would make her game must likely a farce because of superior knowledge.
    Other option: The game may completely change to totally different dynamic. I’m really curious to see what will happen.

    And a last question: What do you think about the newly revealed characters for EP7? There are so many far reacting opinions about them out their as the new portrait seem to give so much symbolism to those two even if nothing else got revealed about them by now. I was really bewildered what interesting conclusion all those overthinking fans reached. :)

    • I think that the author attempted to “incorporate” characters that didn’t get much story while he was making Battler X Beatrice to the story. The result was confusing and half-baked. Battler’s own struggle and this “truth” he knows of about his sin was too puzzling, which apparently solves whatever Beatrice did wrong to him (not the pieces) is forgiven. That strange feeling never went away and it was unwantely confusing.

      I don’t know if Dawn something Rykushi just wanted to “get out of the way” as in here’s an EP where A characters appear and where B things are explained so there so we won’t have to cover them again or something similar. It doesn’t sound very R07ish but it seems that way. I learned a few things from the EP but because of others things I don’t know if they are even that relevant.

      I didn’t like the mystery as in the killing part. I loved Erika and Battler’s battles and the Reader concept but really wasn’t thrilled by the rest. I wasn’t exposed to any real spoilers, actually I found they were clearly completely wrong! (I’ll mention them when I blog about it) when I played EP6 so they didn’t affect me. I think the complexity seen in past EPs was gone. I saw through many things before they were even put into motion which saddened me because I wasn’t even spoiled just merely thinking of the most likely scenarios. I think my “reasoning” backfired on this one I guess. Well, I blame Battler lol.

      There are many types of genius in this world. Battler has Kinzo’s crazy luck and reckleness that gives him miracles. However, Battler isn’t the intellectual and calculating type at all, the total opposite of Erika or me but he can be able to turn the tables around at last very moment. That’s what makes him a difficult opponent. Because he doesn’t give up when normal people would.

      To me, Battler is too predictable on Dawn. He shines when he plays offensive and does something crazy but he’s still too easy to read for me. I usually don’t mind it because he is on the “losing side” but he is GM on this one and I was expecting something else. I knew he wasn’t going to kill his family. I knew he was going to give others a break, and after the 1st scene at the cathedral I figure how most of the EP would played out. On the other hand, the witches’ dementia always gets me. They always seem to pull something insane defying common sense. I think that without Erika playing the part of the detective I would’ve despised Dawn for lacking on mystery department I love so much.

      I remember Bern/Lambda in EP5 saying something like “look I made your piece look intelligent” when he embarrassed Erika, inferring that Battler isn’t that intelligent. I don’t think I’ll ever believe it that Battler reads many many books claim lol. My simple theory? I think since EP5 the author wanted to turn Battler in some sort of genius and this is the result of it. If you ask me, Battler is lucky he has so many opponents that give him breaks. I’d be less benevolent. Insert a cackle and giggle.

      The cathedral part was a bit exaggerated because of this “awkward” (I call it that) relationship between Battler and Beatrice that I just wanted it to end, however, I love how the author twists all concepts we know and turn them into something else like real Witches would. He could make the most innocent concept into the most malicious things if he wanted. How Battler when he gets married is “bound” by this union and then thrown into a “cage” (a closed room he was so proud of) when he is defeated is truly brilliant. It made me think how humans may see marriage as something like that and how this concept and others could even be manipulated in such ways. Even I was surprised by the author’s versatility this time. The symbolism in Dawn was great without a doubt.

      The meta inside other Meta was giving me a headache. As I read I tried to made sense of all things and try to incorporate them into what I already knew and still was confusing. Featherine or rather Hachijo being the author of the following tales (even End of the Golden Witch!) made me literally go WTF mode. I wasn’t expecting the author to mix the magic with reality that FAR. I think Ange from the future was risky enough (some people still don’t quite get it) but introducing these elements was a bit too much. I didn’t like the idea of the 1st tale Legend of the Golden Witch being the only “real one” while the rest were “made up” stories even if it was only a claim. I kept quiet for a while when reading those parts.. thinking and thinking. I… did not like what my thoughts told me.

      I don’t want to see is Umineko revealing all secrets. I like how things are now. The mysteries used to be extremely hard to understand then moved to difficult to solve then to where we are now they can be solved just that it is extremely well crafted mystery. I think I’d stop having fun if they were to reveal the truth so soon. I don’t know how many more EPs we’ll have but I don’t think I want to tale to end so soon. After Higurashi this new game board is truly interesting that it’d be a shame to see it end.

      Well, to answer your question. You’re right, who would exactly play that game? My guess will be nobody because if Bern would be in charge of a game board it wouldn’t be much about that characters we know because of the “agreement” with Featherine she’d be forced to “solve the mysteries” of Umineko thus end the story. That’s why the story will be centered around new characters (and a new story I suppose) while the characters we know well will get little screentime.

      On portrait:
      – The blonde woman looks like an Ushiromiya no matter how we look at it (eagle, hair, etc).
      – She has the (Ushiromiya?!) ring on her hand, meaning she is either the head or she has taken the ring from the former head and became it. We don’t know what year this is so I can’t say they even know Kinzo.
      – The other guy dresses normally and has no cape. They both look like “normal” humans to me but the guy has a strange gaze.
      – They are clearly covering the portrait maybe the time they are in there wasn’t a witch yet or they’re covering that one of them is a “witch/sorcerer”.
      – The brooch is present so many they are a pair of lovers united by the power of the brooch or one of them will use the brooch to bring one of them happiness. Magic?

      Well, those are my quick thoughts. I haven’t read any comments, spoilers, or anything about EP7 and I don’t even know if the EP is already out or not but I’m sure that it will EPIC. It’d better be.

      • [Sorry I just cannot keep it short ^^ Their were just to many so many points to address after your last comment.]

        “I think that the author attempted to “incorporate” characters that didn’t get much story while he was making Battler X Beatrice to the story.”
        “I don’t know if Dawn something Rykushi just wanted to “get out of the way” as in…”
        I thought about this some more. I guess the big problem this time is that while every story was filled with strange twists and mind screwing events that here we have the rare occasion that the ulterior intention of the Episode is rather difficult to analyze and so much of its motives get a little lost in this big clash of topics just going anywhere.
        But perhaps its really fitting after all. Perhaps the core arcs are really meant to connect to the question arcs on a one to one basis. EP5 was from a special PoV really reminiscent of EP1 in its strong mystery and reality focused story and its prominent role of Natsuhi to the events. So perhaps EP6 is meant to bring us again the confusion of EP2 which message IMO is still the most difficult story to understand on its own without the help of later concepts. It also dealt the most with love and furniture problems and messed the most with our til then assumed status quo.
        If thats really intended this way and the trend continues perhaps EP7 will bring back the ideas of EP3 “puzzle solving” (like the epitaph talk), malicious intents of the adults (as in EVA-B’s messing with everything) and will really give important conceptional answers (as in Virgilias role in EP3). While for Bern the last part may not fit her style the two mentioned before would fit into her role as GM exactly.

        But perhaps I just want to read good intentions and ideas into his mess of a story he presented with EP6. Perhaps he just screwed up by incorporating to much circumstantial and more irrelevant stuff then was good for the flow of the story.

        “I didn’t like the mystery as in the killing part. ”
        “I think the complexity seen in past EPs was gone.”
        I guess this worked differently for me because of the spoilers I got exposed to. If you just once read the sick twist Erikas puts on the whole murder to back up here standpoint you just cannot reason or be disappointed the same way when you get the translation. Its really like reading EP3/4 but accidentally picking up before that Kinzos was always dead. It just won’t be the same.
        But even if I see how you REALLY love the complexity and riddle-constructing nature of this stories and are disappointed if it isn’t in top form (as I wouldn’t want it any other way either) I still think its better to step back at this point for a moment and question what may be the intention/logic or benefit of this setup.
        The first important point to note is that is makes sense in context. After all it fits Battlers style of playing. As I said I don’t subscript to the Genius Battler theories either even if I like to point out it exists (just like the strange spin it puts on the story IF you assume it would actually work). Battler is doing this GM stuff for the first time so it makes sense that he took a long time building up the gameboard and also building his riddle in “smaller steps”. I guess nobody expected that he would pull stunts like Beatos multi-layered mindfuck gambits mixed with misleading performances and all this craziness. So IMO thats an appropriate riddle for a mere average level human with a bit of practice in this games on the player side. :P
        And then the idea of complexity itself is also a 2-edge sword. I guess you are right that Battler version of the murders get a bit to predictable and that in medias res intro also is even meant to give away a bit to much early on but still taking the story as a whole what IS really lost with this approach?
        That question reminded me a lot about this idea for complexity vs. depth talk with gets applied in so many contexts for any medium and the general agreement is that just complexity for the sake of it without a real application give a unsatisfying experience. I guess mystery novels are a special case because here complexity give the option to hide the more obviously parts of the riddle in layers of misdirection but that isn’t actually my point here as their obviously is enough depth to the riddles in the question arcs. My point we have reached the the answer arcs by now and they are meant not to (primary ^^) confuse us even more with more grand schemes constructed but to poke at all the right places to look for answer. But as this is the style of the When They Cry stories those answer are still meant to be decoded in new riddles. So the obvious conclusion is to lower the complexity a bit so that the intended themes or hints get a bit easier to spot. So I guess thats the reason for this shift. After all look what he did with EP5/6. The question arcs were always staged as multiple murder setups with different ways to hide the tricks but EP5&6 reduce the number of murder and put more talk on every individual case. EP6 is the epitome of this kind of simplicity as it actually only features 1 6-people-murder and 1 closed room connected to this and the whole story discussed the many events needed for its setup and its faults, traps and options for explanations. I think that was meant to help those reader who still struggle with this concept or never put so much thoughts into this to actually see the many options. After all those closed room setups are one of the major selling points of the whole mystery story and also a frequent backup explanation why “magic” may be needed to explain the events on the chessboard in the first place so it really need a in-depth look ingame anyway.
        What I see as a support to this idea are the many statements from Ryu07’s interviews which again and again give you such metaphors like newer mysteries are keys and you need to find the right keyhole to fit them in. What I take away from this infos is that the story was inherently structured which the idea of multi-layered backtracking to earlier storys in mind for those who want to tackle it. So perhaps he is just trying to give broader hints towands this structure by making this all the more noticeable. So to sum this all up I think reducing the complexity of the murder setups isn’t such a bad idea.

        But this ultimately boils down to a different question: It this story really to EASY now that all the complexity is gone? I think its safe to say that this isn’t the case at all. After all even if Battlers 6 murders + closed room idea wasn’t all that great the whole mess resulting from this is still as bizarre as ever IMO. I would even state that the way Battler planned to play this closed room trick before the logic error stuff isn’t that important to the story at all. EP6 really takes a strange shift in motivations for the characters in the meta world. But that also only dawned on me when I read the final part in the cathedral about the duel and that talk about conceptional denial etc. This story isn’t like the Battler/Beato games from Ep1-4 at all. Both parties really changed their actions to much more fierce intentions. After all while Battler as player always only wanted to proof his point and beat Beato here we see Erika actively trying to incapacitate the GM and sabotage the game to turn it to her favor. Battler never worked on this level as he always accepted and honored what Beato would throw at him and only tried to defuse her claims. But what seems even more important to me is how Battler/Beato also seem to “kill” Erika here with his last red statement (in the metaphorical sense we got to know for the meta world over the course of all the games). That also very different from EP1-4 where Beato only tried to defend her position but never (with the exception of “Who are you Battler?”) attacked the player directly. So THIS game deals with totally different goals.
        Actually the stuff about Erikas “death” by the duel may not seem so groundbreaking news to you as the metaphors for the duel are quite clear inside of story but their is a subtle hint hidden in the TIPS that you may have missed which gives much food for thoughts. Namely after the game you can “execute” Erikas character on both the chessboard level but ALSO on the the meta level summary of characters with different result. While the chessboard just grays out her sprite (infos how she fell from the boat but never reached Rokkenjima) when you do this on the meta-level the result really boggles the mind…. as you see NOTHING. Nothing as in no sprite, no text, nothing at all, as if she doesn’t simple “die” or avoided getting to the island but does EXIST at all.
        And that’s where the real mind screw factor of the implications of Erikas duel to death starts. My interpretation of this is that Battler/Beato just accidentally or intentionally proofed that Erika really is just a trick/metaphor/illusion like all the other denied magic. Perhaps thats why she got considered as a “true” witch in the end and now we have to question how this story may even work under this premise considering how much control she had over the development of the event in this story. This rips major plot hole into the story which need to be filled. Thats really EP2 all over again. Getting to this point I was really bewildered. Erika never really fit into the story in the first place with her detective novel deconstructing nature but actually getting hinted at that she was just some illusion or metaphor like many other fantasy characters even while representing the humans side that’s a still bit thick. And looking at it this way I was really wondering what is the point of EP5&6 after all as all this stuff doesn’t make sense at all without Erika. So here Ryu07 messes with your understanding for the world construct of this story not once but twice in one EP: at first by putting in another meta abstraction and then later he distorts your perspection of the Umineko “reality” even more by once again letting a character we somehow took for granted vanish into thin air.
        From this PoV you could also see the whole EP as a really twisted antithesis to all the prior games. EP5 already change how we assigned “good” and “evil” to both confronting sides but here also the roles seem completely reversed. Now GM Battler tried to proof stuff by magic and the detective gets denied for being to supernatural. Letting that sink in for a moment I can only say “What the hell was he thinking?”.
        Taking all of this ideas is their really still a relevance to how simple or complex Battler initial murder setup was, who put the letter in front of Erika this time and stuff like this?
        I guess that seems quite irrelevant for the message of the story at this point. :(

        But enough of the ending and its strange twists . The question of how easy this story is and how it is seen by the fans actually leads to a completely different problem you also mentioned yourself:
        “The meta inside other Meta was giving me a headache. ”
        “I… did not like what my thoughts told me.”
        The story in its entity actually isn’t easy at all. And I’m not saying this because I don’t get it but because I’ve seen how much confusing and irritated theorycrafting has resulted after the release of EP6 in January. I look whats going on on the Animesuki-boards from time to time as I mentioned before and to give you a vague idea how much wild guessing is going on over there: their are like over 700 new page(!) of posts since January only dedicated for discussion either all the EP6 problems or speculations in the greater picture incl. this stuff from EP6. Naturally I didn’t even read a fraction of the stuff proposed there (as I most like wouldn’t do anything else anymore if I really tried to keep up with the pace of this forums ^^) but that what I read was so full of contradicting theories, drama of interpretation and most important of all: if theories really worked most of the time the fan didn’t LIKE what was resulting from them. The reactions range from “meh” to “OMG WTF NO… DO NOT WANT”. I guess that the problem of EP6 on the higher level. Fans come up with “possible” theories but most seem like 3rd rated mystery , lame in construction or plain deranged in storytelling execution if true. So while the puzzles may not be that easy as they seem the strange direction this story is heading make some fans really lose their fate in Ryu07 storytelling and mystery constructing skills and thats where my earlier mentioned idea that the story crumbles other its own weight / complexity / high-stake gambling nature on Ryu07 part comes from. (And for some stuff he pulled while construction Umineko I really think he took Kinzos mantra in more then any of the characters in the story could ;D )
        I guess special mention deserver all this freaky Shkanon theoriy variations (summing up all the theories of “folding” multiple characters into one real person in varied combinations). Here it seem he lay a really big trap for storytelling himself. After hinting so strongly towards such an answer in EP6 with all this lovers trial and duels etc. nobody can pass this up as some irrelevant crack theory. But no matter how this plays out he needs to provide a REALLY good explanation for it. If this really isn’t a metaphoric trap then he is bound to have a DAMN good background story to back this up or otherwise fans will be really disappointed of the whole story. If its just a red herring on the other side he really need a good reason to torture us with this topic in EP6 in such epic fashion or fans will rage for all the wasted time. So you see no matter what this meant to tell us its a tricky gamble he pulled there.

        “There are many types of genius in this world. Battler has Kinzo’s crazy luck and reckleness that gives him miracles. ”
        As I already commented twice I also regard this Genius Theory as one of this theories only good for a short laugh.
        I (or better those who came up with this) also didn’t try to play with words when talking about geniuses. If you just used genius as a term to describe someone really good at something thats missing the point. When people talk about this theory they always just think of “JUST AS PLANNED” level thinking/scheming. This obviously would place Battler right in the realm of all those Kira and Xanantos like characters which really would make the story quite lame regarding the major breaking of character consistency.

        I guess how you summed up Battlers strength exactly hits the nail. Battler really is defined more by determination and how all those “back against the wall” scenario make his badassery really shine and less by his actual IQ. And after all this way of living is what 90% of Kinzos image in everybodys mind is all about. Writing this I’m suddenly strongly reminded of the Kaiji anime which really make an artform out of this last possible backout option gambling. Only that Umineko doesn’t even give you half the amount of many tears this show forces you through. :P (Also reminds my how many fans of the show said that this “loser” Kaiji was a much better protagonist then chessmaster genius Akagi in his show for exactly this chracter trait. Perhaps that kind of sympathy is also Battlers great appeal. ^^)

        “The cathedral part was a bit exaggerated because of this “awkward”…”
        “…however, I love how the author twists all concepts we know and turn them into something else like real Witches would. ”
        Yeah by the time the cathedral scene started this “love love love with an extra serving of love and also drama inc” really was more annoying than anything no matter how much he wanted even the densest reader to clearly understand this IS a major theme. Beatos entrance was cool but why he had to draw out this love drama that much… I don’t get it. As I already say this may be once again some try to “write crap for the sake of being clever with the meta-message” but while it work for all this Pseudo-MarySue-ness of Erika I think here it only backfired. On the other side who CAN REALLY comprehend was Ryu07 is up to in his stories? :D
        But I also really like the other wicked stuff you mentioned. Especially how he put this really sick innuendo in there to provide some first class fan disservice with all this ring stuff. That really elevated the idea of “mind rape” to a whole new level. O_o

        “I didn’t like the idea of the 1st tale Legend of the Golden Witch being the only “real one” while the rest were “made up” stories even if it was only a claim.”
        I think its safe to said EVERYBODY was really at first surprised and after further thoughts annoyed by this move to push this into the context of “all just a story”. I saw sooo much “OMG now everything is irrelevant. The sky is falling.” reactions to this but after the first dust had settled and fans thought about this some more it didn’t seem sooo bad anymore. There are some minor details to this that get really important IMO for understanding she situation we are in with this.
        You mentioned the first important point yourself: its an unproven claim with thin backing up or context… more precisely its Featherinnes claim and she is – like most witches – a character we can hardly trust in her motivations and “facts” she present about her involvement. The stories she present (as a human) my not even be her own. She may have found the manuscripts and published it as hers or whatever. Where she pulled this “facts” from is also unknown.
        But even more important: It was stated how this stories are constructed in accordance THE truth about the mystery you have find. That may contradict herself in regard to her search for more answers but it still proofs how the stories don’t lose any of its value as it seemingly cannot go against the events in reality but just change the perspectives. And well…. that Umineko always has messed with the perspectives isn’t news at all.

        But there is also another side to this “what is fiction?” talk. You said you dislike the thought that EP1 is the only “real” story and everything else may be fiction but I guess to didn’t think this through to the end. After all was DO we know about EP1? Where did this tale come from? Right… it was in a bottle just like EP2. There actually is nothing that makes this more real then every other story. It might be just as much a fictional representation of Rokkenjima as every other story. It may seem like the most realistic version of the tale but even EP1 has “magical influences” in it. Kinzo is alive and their are golden butterflys on the island.
        Actually their was a separate theory formed of this… I think they call this the “Author Theory”. This theory that their is some place fans like to call Rokkenjima Prime which is THE real world (ingame ^^) and NON of the story really show this to us. All the stories just give us indirect account for what was going on on this island and we cannot really judge who really wrote what based on what facts and how much this is a secondary or tertiary source of information or whatever. Still as none of the stories should really allowed to contradict reality this theory just bring up IMO stupid philosophical discussions of how much worth lies in such assumed texts. (The concept of the “historical method” may be relevant in this context)
        But its not the fault of the readers that he came up with integrating this level into the story. As you mentioned this is a risky gamble to play on such abstract terms with the world he wants to fill with a mystery story. And I personally also dislike it as its really distracting from the important topics if you always have thoughts about recursive reality and weird stuff like that circling in your head. Well someday we will see if the result justified this approach.

        “I don’t want to see is Umineko revealing all secrets. I like how things are now.”
        Well I guess that’s a wish that you should forget really fast. After all those core arcs are meant to answer the questions. Otherwise why would he write them if he didn’t want to progress to the solution. So I guess your only choice would be to simple not read the next stories :P
        Its funny how Higurashi really suggested something like this once. Before the final story started you had to go thought some kind of mini-game with represented a version of a textual puzzle and the intro to this actually told you something similar to “If this is to hard/stressful/whatever to you you can just leave it at that. You can just uninstall the game and never think of it again the story will end with the game before. But Rika will also be forever trapped / dead.” And you actually had to finish the whole TIPS-Puzzle to “unlock” the real 8th story. ^^
        But I was just kidding which my answer. I get what you meant and I think I really have a shimmer of hope for you. The way I understand this the resolution of Higurashi wasn’t that well received by the hardcore mystery fans as the 7th game really put the answer about the culprit in a “in your face” style and the 8th game continues this with big expositions about the backgrounds and inner works of the Higurashi multiverse.
        And Ryu07s interview hint towards a different approach for Umineko where he want so tackle it a bit more subtle.
        They was some statement comparing the new style of the core arcs to a riddle to find the word “apple” and where Higurashi was like “Ok sorry. Times up. I wanted to hear ‘apple’ ” this time he would aim for something like “Ok if you didn’t get it here is a hint: Its round and red.” (additionally explaining how this way those already on the right track get a really valued hint they are right on and those still struggling get a good clue to rethink their approach of the riddle)
        Their was an answer in an even newer interview which may be even more to your taste:
        As he seem to got some critic for his earlier approach for solutions he drew a really interesting comparison to how online games nowadays play out (I think he was thinking of MMOs more specifically ^^). He mentioned how something items in this games really take much time and afford to obtain but later one the whole game gets nerfed (didn’t say it this way but it seem really obvious he was going for this) and many players can get this items then with much less afford so those first players feel cheated / betrayed / annoyed as it now seem like a big waste of time how they did it the hard way. And he commented how this doesn’t seem fair.
        It’s funny as I always make comparison for my friends to how the Umineko approach to mystery is really reminiscent of this whole Casuals vs. Hardcore discussion in gaming even if this stories aren’t THAT kind of games at all. :D
        But I guess there really is all you are hoping for addressed with this statement. So consider yourself lucky as he really seems to see fans like us as the “important” target audience. Also fits really well in this “Never stop thinking!” motive if he leave those more in-depth topics for the “elitist” in the community to analyze without a straight answer. And last but not least this setting is really make for dubious ambiguity in those ulterior themes which are not THAT important to enjoy the last final battle of the series (or whatever may come).

        “…I don’t even know if the EP is already out or not but I’m sure that it will EPIC. It’d better be.”
        No it isn’t. The next Comiket is still some weeks away and til now there is just the stuff from the preorder infos including the portrait and the new cover (which also has both new characters + both of the love freak furnitures in ingame sprite) and the cool new Opening movie. They also gave something like 6 screenshots of the game but they are rather cryptic and generic as always. The intro text to the preorder gives a vague idea of the content but there isn’t anything I would consider even remotely as a spoiler or which you couldn’t have concluded from the last scene in Dawn.
        After all was Bern plans to present is a tale without love showing a cruel and tragic truth. (Who would have guessed? ^^) . She also mentions a “tale fitting for Beato’s funeral.”
        Also Bern really seem to like the idea to do what she can do best and enjoys the most (remember the metaphor of the little cat and her “mountain of cookies” and you get the picture)
        Also their is one sentense you may like: “Due to the interference of bystanders, both the story and its points of view become ever more complex.” Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? ;P
        Everything else on the net is just fan speculations.

        For the portrait I was just curious what you would see in this picture. From all the ideas in the forums this felt more like a “find the differences” game then just a portrait for 2 people. Ryu07 really seems to love putting ambiguity into every even remotely relevant for the tale. But you’re quite good with your observations. I didn’t make then this one may first try as well. But as you may have guessed there are even compilations of all the proposed idea out there. ^^ But you make this short: while the ideas for the girl are all over the place, the fans have some really concentrated and clever ideas about the identity for the guy.
        The girls inspired many associations. Some say its Jessica of the future, some think its Kinzos Beatrice and some even think that she isn’t even female because she looks rather DFC for and someone related to the family…. and yes their are serious. (I wish I was making this up… XD )
        BTW something easy to miss about her: their isn’t only the Ushiromiya still dress-code and the brooch and roses beside her and the ring but she also is holding was looks like a single rose in her hand. :)

        About the guy: Obvious ideas are something like “younger Kinzo”, the girls servant/bodyguard and stuff like this but actually many fans have a rather concrete idea about this guy as a new meta characters.
        Does he really look human to you? I mean he has golden eyes. Together with this blue jacket she really looks like some of Dlanors colleges. Thats why many fans claim he is actually an Van Dine meta persona. And it would make sense Dine gets mentions in the first OP like Knox did and even Beato mention them both at one time. Also Dlanors bio has a more or less cryptic shout out to Van Dine. But their is even more visual clue. Noticed his necklace? Looks similar to the logo of Dlanors devision but also look somehow like an anchor…… anchor like lets say of a steamship? (see what he may have done here? ^^)
        Well thats as good as guess as everything else but I like the idea. It would fit Berns taste as IMO Van Dines rules looks like a pimped up version of Knox rules but with much more restrictions and he also clearly states how there is no place for love stories in detective mysteries. :D

        I think thats enough for now and at least for me thanks to those stuff I’m all fired up to read how this will continue and also for your hopefully following in-depth posts of EP6. I mentioned a lot here but their is so much more strange stuff going on this time. :D

  6. Battler definitively got that “Genius syndrome” I’ve seen a lot in my school. No matter how inept, stupid or incompetent the person was at school, the moment s/he graduated and became a teacher, s/he became immediately an omniscient creature who “obviously knows a lot more than everybody” and treats you as if you should already know that stuff (which totally defeats the point of being “taught”). Battler at first got really, really cocky because he now knows the answer (despite being completely incompetent at times during his own struggle), which obviously had a lot to do with him “pitting Erika and giving her an advantage”.

    Before this or Ep4 had even stated, I had already suspected that playing on the witch’s side was suicidal, because of the mere existence of the red. As rash as that thought process might have been, around Ep2 and Ep3 I simply thought that the mere existence of the red proved that the human was a culprit, the real deal was proving how s/he did it.

    In an interesting “twist”, I think that this episode put (or tried to) Rosa in a more favorable light, seeing her debt was because she wanted Maria to have a father figure, while it “demonizes” Kyrie. On the other hand, having this episode completely dedicated to the cousin’s stupid love was not the thing I liked the most. I agree with you, they are quite uninteresting and this episode made the male adults seem pretty much worthless outside their “role” as Morality Chains/Problems: Krauss is really important to Natsuhi; killing Hideyoshi is a good way to make Eva go insane. Even Rudolf, whose wife is one of the most suspicious characters, seems to be “forgettable”, when he obviously had to do something with the baby switch.

    I think that the magic scenes being too silly-obvious were done like that because Battler is all too “It’s Beato and my secret/story”. He obviously wants no one to know the truth about the game, so he tried to prevent the human side from figuring it out by giving them red herrings. Stupid distractors, of course. The magic scenes were akin to “Hey, is that a *insert stupid comment* there?” while pointing out to a random place, hoping that the person would be tricked and would forget about what they were looking for in the first place. I think that this is what makes Battler not being a good GM. Lambda understands Beato’s rules and is trying, to stick, somewhat to the meaning of the game. Battler is not. He really made a fuss about other people playing Beato’s game and he’s still making it right now. The purpose was to show Battler something. Now that he was “seen” that, he’ll hide it from everyone, instead of showing it to someone. It’s like Battler has the Mona Lisa and keeps it on his attic, covered under lots of blankets AND keeps the attic’s door closed with a chain. He doesn’t want someone else to enjoy a piece of art.

    Also, because Battler sees his family with love, he can’t bring himself to show someone was a murderer, hence this game was about a prank. This is all too similar to Maria’s diary, when she went to a lot of trouble and to great lengths just to justify Rosa and to give the impression that Rosa is under a lot of stress, but is a kind and loving mother. Ange (and mine)’s view was one “without love”, so she saw Rosa as a selfish, abusive woman who is not the loving mother Maria talks about. This makes me look forward to Bern’s episode. We definitively need to see things without all that love experience, “clouding” the truth.

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